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Calves in Wensleydale bask in sunshine last Friday, 21 June. The Farming in Protected Landscapes programme is highlighted in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan Partnership annual progress report.

Partnership:  ‘Much more action needed’

Monday 24 June, 2024, by News Release

A partnership of organisations working in the Yorkshire Dales National Park has published its annual progress report.

The Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan Partnership (‘NPMP Partnership’) says more than half of the plan’s 49 objectives, set in 2019, have been achieved or are on course to be achieved.

Among the highlights of the past year are the Farming in Protected Landscapes grant programme, which provided £1.4 million to farmers and land managers to support environmental improvements and public access, and the completion of the £2.6m Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership programme, which has seen significant heritage sites such as the Smardale Gill lime kilns restored.  

More than 3,000 ha of formerly degraded peatland was brought into restoration by Yorkshire Peat Partnership, and just under 300 ha of new native woodland was created – helping to support efforts to tackle climate change.

There are 15 objectives where progress has been slower than originally hoped, but there are promising signs for the future. These include improvements to mobile phone coverage, the installation of a new railhead at Horton Quarry, and the planned development of a family-friendly cycling, horse riding and walking route along the disused railway line from Garsdale Station to Hawes.

However, the annual report, which will be debated at tomorrow’s National Park Authority annual meeting, also says there has been little or no progress on five objectives.  Objectives on nature recovery are not being met, while the Environment Agency is reporting that the proportion of rivers in the National Park in good ecological condition has fallen from 62% in 2020 to 51%, although that is still much higher than the England-wide average.  (Please see ‘Statement on river quality in the Yorkshire Dales National Park’)

The NPMP Partnership is made up of 19 organisations/representatives who have the main responsibility for implementing the objectives.   

Chair of the NPMP Partnership, David Sharrod, who is also Chief Executive of the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust said: “This annual report reflects the achievements of many organisations and individuals as we near the end of our current management plan.   It’s really good to see the difference that big projects such as the Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership and Farming in Protected Landscapes have made to local communities and the environment. 

“Yet we have to face the facts; it is going to be very difficult to achieve our main objectives on nature recovery and the natural environment.   We have plans in place, but much more action – and the necessary resources – will be needed to make them a reality.”      

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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News Release

Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

Website: www.yorkshiredales.org.uk

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